SOURCE: Foundation Fighting Blindness

April 25, 2013 10:18 ET

Foundation Fighting Blindness Salutes Walmart Associates for Raising $1.2 Million to Save and Restore Sight

Footsteps Boost Awareness and Help Advance Treatments and Cures for Retinal Diseases

COLUMBIA, MD--(Marketwired - April 25, 2013) - The Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB), a national nonprofit focused on sight-saving research for retinal diseases, applauds the philanthropic efforts of dedicated Walmart associates across the country who walked on behalf of blindness research and eye health awareness during FFB's inaugural Save Your Vision Month in October 2012. Thousands of associates and their friends and families at more than 430 stores volunteered their time to walk for a combined total of 270,000 hours, raising $1.2 million in support of FFB's public health education and research programs. Funds raised by associates' volunteer efforts were compounded by Walmart's Volunteerism Always Pays program, through which associates may request charitable contributions on behalf of organizations where they volunteer.

"We commend Walmart associates for raising awareness about eye health and, through raising these funds, making a difference for millions living with low to no vision," says Bill Schmidt, CEO of the Foundation Fighting Blindness. "The money raised through Save Your Vision Month fuels some of the most promising research, including landmark studies that have restored significant vision in children and young adults who were previously blind."

While associates at all of the participating Walmart stores deserve thanks and recognition, these five stores rose to the top in the rankings for raising the most funds:

  1. Walmart #1924 in Presque Isle, Maine $28,750
  1. Walmart #1019 in Canon City, Colorado $18,500
  1. Walmart #1798 in Caro, Michigan $17,250
  1. Walmart #264 in Dickson, Tenn. $14,000
  1. Walmart #2012 in North Oxford, Mass. $13,750

On a larger scale, associates in Walmart's North Central and Mid-America divisions led the way, with the time they volunteered translating into an impressive $325,000 and $255,000 in grant money for FFB.

"Our Vision Center team members are constantly interacting with patients coping with vision challenges, so they understand the value of FFB's work to save and restore sight," said Dr. Chad Overman, director of professional relations for Walmart's Health and Wellness Division. "We are proud to be able to help in any way we can, and the Save Your Vision Month program is an excellent way for our associates to stay connected to the communities we serve and give back."

About the Foundation Fighting Blindness

The Foundation Fighting Blindness is a national non-profit organization driving the research that will lead to preventions, treatments and cures for retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, Usher syndrome and other retinal degenerative diseases affecting 10 million Americans. Since 1971, the Foundation has raised more than $500 million as the leading non-governmental funder of retinal research. Breakthrough Foundation-funded studies using gene therapy have restored significant vision in children and young adults who were previously blind, paving the way for additional clinical trials to treat a variety of retinal degenerative diseases. With a network of nearly 50 chapters, the Foundation also provides support, information and resources to affected individuals and their families in communities across the country.

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